Time, as we often muse, is a fickle friend and deceiver - but also a healer, and a gentle deliverer.
I'm in the last few days of a three week trip to the UK and Ireland. I've not been home for two years, and it was becoming increasingly important - urgent even - that I do so, because I'm blessed. Incredibly blessed. I have a close and loving extensive family on both sides, and an extensive and equally loving circle of friends that stretch the length of the nation.
Last Saturday my sister, Kerry, brought a great number of them together for a surprise party for my wife, Christina's, Birthday. The weather held, everybody who possibly could turned up. They camped, they crashed, they secured hotel rooms - whatever it took. They trained it, drove, cycled or walked. But they came.
One of the best nights of recent years was had. And, as I said, it was brought home to us - again - how blessed we are, and what wonderful friends and family we have.
If this sounds too saccharine for your sweetness-tolerance levels I make no apology. It's a rugged enough weave we wend, and this world is wrought in fear and loathing. I need the unfiltered embrace of honest love to keep me upright and moving steadily forward.
Of America - I will say going back this time will be perhaps the hardest ever. I had thought I wanted to stay there forever, that this many-pronged and tiny island had nothing to offer me. I had grown angry at her for not readily supporting the hopes and grander dreams of myself and my hard-working artistic brethren. I had become disillusioned and somewhat bitter.
But a dear friend said on Saturday that myself and my family were a nexus of a wider community across the country around which so much circled. That we touched and touch many lives - and that is hard to ignore, much as it is humbling and hard to grant credibility. It is also, I realize, a responsibility, and one I should not shirk.
I don't think I'm any kind of nexus in the U.S., not really. I'm a face in a huge creative community, but I'm not any kind of linchpin. In the UK I've always been somewhat at the heart of something, if not directly it's progenitor - though sometimes that too. And I am a gregarious and people-loving man.
So, in summary - I'm going to miss everybody terribly, and there are many of you I did not get to see. It will give me much pause for thought, but it will also give me strength - the same strength I needed when we first took the big step to move West. You see, we were not, ever, running away. We were just in need of adventure.
Big love all. X